PTF boss: ‘Uncertainty is the biggest challenge’

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union Andrew kuyk

The biggest challenge facing the UK in the wake of the Brexit vote is the level of uncertainty over what leaving Europe means, the new head of the Provision Trade Federation (PTF) has claimed.

However, in this exclusive interview for, PTF director general Andrew Kuyk, also claimed the vote was an opportunity for the food and farming industries to shape its own future.

He said: Where it was possible to have an idea of what staying in Europe meant, leaving Europe is something that nobody really knows, because we’ve never done it before.

‘Unprecedented situation’

“People talk about other models – Norway, Canada – but those countries have never been in the EU before – whereas, we’re in the almost unprecedented situation of being a country that has been very much at the centre of Europe for many years.”

Kuyk, who took over at the PTF in April, has years of EU negotiating experience behind him in his time as a senior civil servant at the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs. He also spent three years as director of sustainability at the Food and Drink Federation.

He added: “I think​ [Brexit] is an opportunity to stand back and ask ourselves questions that we wouldn’t have asked, had we been staying in. Namely, what do we want the future to look like?

Article 50

On Sunday (October 2), Prime Minister Theresa May announced at the Conservative Party conference that she intended to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty by the end of March 2017.

Triggering the Article 50 would allow the formal Brexit negotiation process to get underway.

The timing of the move was predicted by FDF director general Ian Wright, in a exclusive​ at the beginning of August.

To find out more about how Kuyk plans to take the PTF forward, as well as his thoughts on food prices and the government’s approach to tackling obesity – order your copy of the October issue of Food Manufacture here​.

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